Over the last six months, Thrive Market has piloted a “guided shopping quiz” that asks most new customers who come to its site “18 onboarding questions about their preferences,” that the retailer uses to shape recommendations and the types of products that appear on consumers’ landing pages when they sign back in, Kerrie Lopez, head of merchandising marketing at Thrive Market, told attendees last month at the Digital Food & Beverage conference in Austin, Texas.
The questions range from what areas of the home they are shopping for, whether they shop specific categories to how often they use certain types of products. They also drill down to the brand level – asking shoppers which brands they already love in different categories.
For each question Thrive asks, it explains why it wants to know – a move that serves double duty for the company, Lopez said. She explained the "tips" help shoppers not feel“like we are going too far into privacy or anything like that,” while also allowing the retailer to toot its own horn by explaining areas of expansion and offerings.
Even though the questionnaire takes several minutes to complete, Lopez said that about 90% of Thrives customers answer all the questions, providing detailed information that will help the retailer and its brand partners better promote or showcase products.
The questionnaire didn’t just help streamline consumers’ shopping experience, it also doubled Thrive’s session to order conversion rate, Lopez said. This is significant considering many online shoppers abandon their carts or will take several sessions to complete their cart before hitting send.
While the questionnaire has proven to help both shoppers and Thrive, the retailer still is acutely aware that it is asking its consumers for time and insights that they don’t have to share – and as such wants to show them they appreciate the effort, Lopez said.
She explained that the retailer weaves into the shopping experiences references to the questionnaire to show consumers how it helped them so that they never feel like they wasted their time, Lopez said.
Similarly, she said, if a retailer or brand wants to duplicate this strategy she advised them “to stick to it,” because consumers will remember if they receive a recommendation for a product that they specifically said they did not want in the onboarding questionnaire – and that will make them feel disconnected and less loyal.
Filters advance the cause
In addition to the onboarding questionnaire, Thrive Market provides consumes with more than 70 different filters that allows them to easily search for products that fit their lifestyles and dietary needs.
But in order for these to work effectively, Lopez says, brands need to clearly tell Thrive which filters apply to their products.
She explained that the retailer tries to apply all the correct filters based on product label information, but she says that is helpful if brands volunteer information to show which additional filters might apply.
Similarly, she recommended brands perform test searches for their products and if they aren’t showing up under all the appropriate filters to simply let Thrive know and they will fix it.